tv Dateline London BBC News January 14, 2019 3:30am-4:01am GMT
before his arrival a senior figure in saudi arabia's ruling establishment, prince turki al—faisal, criticised the us decision to withdraw its troops from syria, describing it as a "very negative development". the mayor of the polish city of gdansk is in serious condition after he was stabbed on—stage in front of thousands of people during a charity concert. pavel adamowicz has served as mayor of gdansk since 1998. a suspect was arrested at the scene. at least five people have been killed in the alps this weekend after heavy snow. three germans died in an avalanche in austria and a fourth is still missing. parts of austria, france, sweden and germany are at a standstill after severe snowfalls closed roads and trapped people in their homes. more snow is forecast. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and a very warm welcome to dateline london.
i'm carrie gracie. this week, the uk living on the edge with mps about to vote on the most momentous question of the age — withdrawalfrom the european union. is it a time for conscience, strategic vision or tactical voting? we game out the moves for mp5, government and other key players on the great brexit board. and after us—china talks in beijing, where stand the trade hostilities which overshadowed the global economy throughout last year? in 2019, is this trade war to be hot, cold, on or off? my guests this week — agnes poirier of news magazine marianne. isabel hilton of the website china dialogue. thomas kielinger, author and long time correspondent of die welt.
and john fisher burns of the new york times. welcome to you all. agnes, i'm going to start with you. theresa may is famously resilient and the past week has been yet another stress test for her. the government sustained two defeats in the house of commons, and dead on delivery was the verdict on her withdrawal bill, even from many of her own mps. but nothing daunted, the prime minister has mounted a last ditch campaign to win over political enemies. should we call this determination and admire it, or call it desperation and pity it? and what's mrs may's next move if, as widely expected, her bill is defeated in the house of commons on tuesday? agnes, i said i was going to start with you, and i am. is a determination we should admire or desperation we should pity? well, how to not be unrespectable to your british prime minister. i'm going to try. this pantomime has been going on for 30 months. i think the view from europe has
been one of admiration for the british resilience she has shown but i think we have also come to a stage of deep exasperation and also deep concern at what is going on. we also see that the opposition, jeremy corbyn, there is nothing to admire in his stance about brexit. he is on the side — he could be king — he does not want a second referendum. he wants brexit really, he has everything to lose by it. he is not serving his country either. what is the view of europe? it is one of sadness and exasperation but also deep concern as time goes by and the deadline comes. i want to ask isabel, the only brit around the table. we have the last—minute campaign by the prime minister, we have some of her cabinet ministers talking about a surge of far right extremism if the bill does not go through. is that a fear or a sensible reminder of the least worst option? if you remember some weeks ago we had a people's march of 700,000 i want to ask isabel, the only brit around the table.
we have the last—minute campaign by the prime minister, we have some of her cabinet ministers talking about a surge of far right extremism if the bill does not go through. is that a fear or a sensible reminder of the least worst option? if you remember some weeks ago we had a people's march of 700,000 people and we had a brexit march of 2500. the far right does not have the numbers and i think it is disgraceful to see cabinet ministers saying we will break your windows if you do not deliver. that is the kind of message of what they are saying and it is absolutely disgraceful, and we have a government that can not deliver its project. we are beginning to see that parliament cannot deliver this project and i think the next step, if we are thinking strategically, is going back and having another vote.
there is nothing undemocratic about having another vote. shinzo abe standing with the prime minster. basically backing her bill, saying the whole world wants to see the avoidance of a no—deal brexit, from the japanese politician, strangely speaking for the whole world. do you think he is right in the assessment that is what the world wants? there is a limited use for bringing in foreign leaders to help your cause. we saw that the time of the referendum in 2016 when barack 0bama was called on for a plead for the right outcome of the referendum — it did not happen and it was useless. the same applies to the japanese prime minister, saying his spiel on the issue. it is futile to think you can solve the conundrum at the heart of british politics by letting foreign leaders speak out. they have to solve it by their own machinations. at the moment parliament is taking control from theresa may who has
minority government, and anyway and is totally dependent on the votes of the ten northern ireland deputies. i think the situation is such, to begin with we are not going to be able to carry the march deadline for brexit. it is not way to happen because there is so much unfinished business and prime minister may is not prime minister of brexit alone. would you think will happen? an extension of article 15. in the end i think there will be brexit. we are getting to feel that britain has to get over its own sort of aversion to europe and get brexit done. the proof of brexit lies in the leaving. something has to give and britain has been at loggerheads with europe for so long. very few good words said in the past about the eu and even now there is so much vitriol
poured on brussels. let's have a separation and severance of relations and see what happens. the proof of brexit lies in the leaving, and then we will see. an american view. do you agree it is not a moment for foreign leaders and yet, where is trump? how much time do we have? not a lot on that question. i want to make another point on this which is i think the story of 2019 will be, on the one hand, we will show, and i speak as a second brit on the panel, part of the political social genius of the country is to muddle through. i think we will muddle through and the media has played its part in slightly overcooking all of this. you don't think we're back
to the religious wars of the early 17th century? no, i don't. i do. did we muddle through that when we took people's heads off? no, i think the extra miss will be marginalised and there is a great deal of sense to be found both parties in parliament, and solutions will be found at acting as we look for that solution, there are something else we need to look at. that is what is happening in europe itself. i think a lot of europeans speak as if there is something immutable about the european union and its views on these matters but actually it is in flux, in the middle of the year it might well be in great crisis. you can see the light of the dynasty politics all across europe, not least in france, germany and italy, and i think
as we muddle through we may find a new, rather different europe to negotiate with than the one we have been negotiating with in the past. take us through the muddling of next week in your view. i should have declared you as the other brit. are you remain or a leaver? i think i am confused. he is with the majority, in that case. well, iam. i think we will do fine if brexit is enacted. i think we'll do find it we don't. i do not think this is the moment of historic crisis that people have presented it to be. sketch out the details of muddling through. do think theresa may's bill
will go through on tuesday? no. which plan will we get to? it seems to me that she will find a way even with the new three—day deadline she has to come up with a plan b, which in one way or another allows for a second or even third vote on her plan as recast as the weeks pass, but i do think we will find a way through this. it will not be a disaster in either case. i agree with his point about europe that it is not in fine fettle at the moment which leads people to think it is not the point to re—enter the european union and that is why i think it will give succour to the trend towards brexit at all cost. it may be a different kind of brexit than we see at the moment but they will want out, i do not think they will decide to rejoin the european union in its current form. you have to let it happen, for goodness' sake. it is worth remembering that
when david cameron ran through to his very ineffective renegotiation prior to the referendum that... he did not get much help. if the european union had been a little bit more helpful we probably would have had no vote for brexit. the same applies now. the european union, somewhat recast by the elections in may, by the change, if not in leadership but the change of attitude of leadership in france and germany, presents the possibility for renegotiation some weeks or months from now which would be a happier outcome for both. weeks and months, we may or may not have. what you think of the extension on article 50? i see no way around the extension because clearly we're not going to resolve this
by march the 30th. the extension runs into other complications. there are elections in europe, britain would still be technically a member. we hold elections for the european parliament, that seems odd. there will be forces and processes that muddy it further but i think the real problem is the instruments by we might muddle through to some effect or resolve the issue is the two major political parties in the government. they're held hostage by extreme elements of their respective ideologies then the government is weak. no matter how much you postpone it i don't see these particular instruments, which had been broken for two years, suddenly coming together in a way that we need to. just a quick question on the point on labour, you mention two political parties being extremist or held hostage. they would not acknowledge that definition but labour, we heard corbyn speaking last week. is both a moment of seizing the day or a moment of fudge? where is he going? where corbyn is going
is a mystery to me. you want the general election, it is a poisoned chalice. he would have to take on this european mess. the fantasy that labour could go in and magically resolve this is choosing a magical unicorn across the horizon. this has to be resolved. 70% of his membership want to remain. he pledged to listen to his membership, it is really fascinating. agnes, are we heading for muddling on brexit? i wishjohn was true but i think it is good to take a look at the bigger picture. 0n the last few weeks i've been reporting on italian politics, yellow vest on france and brexit and suddenly i'm getting extremely pessimistic because it looks as if we are witnessing the end ofan era.
70 years of stability, security paid for by an american, the marshall plan, and we are going... we need to step back and look at the history of europe. europe is inherently a very unstable continent. you're looking back 1000 years. it seems to me there is hungary, poland, france, italy, austria, brexit is a big part of that. we are losing our nerve. security is not a given. they fixed at 40 is a given but it is not. europe is too small a space for too much politics. is your view that mps are having to grapple with the consciences as we speak so that when they go to vote on tuesday they should consider if they extended their view, if a solution, on the horizon, because there is a more listening europe out there? the solution must be found but i think it is really... all i see is division in europe and i cannot remember who penned that expression, "narcissism of small differences."
0n the long term, i'm quite pessamistic now. brexit isjust one of many, many problems that britain and europe — i do not think the should distinguish them, we are all in this together. if the picture agnes paints but europe is right, if i was an mp that would strengthen my resolve to leave the union and stay with brexit, because in the end, muddling through britain might be the most stable country amidst all that turmoil. ifi if i were an mp my resolve to leave would be strengthened. looking at the timetable to remember that the negotiation of the relationship that the uk will have with europe lies ahead. there's plenty of flexibility in that, and that negotiation is going to take place during the period when europe is being recast by its own elections. it's a moving target, indeed. we're going to leave that part of the discussion and we're giving mps plenty to think about. we're going to move from narcissism of small difference to the narcissism of much bigger differences. you expect nothing and you are never disappointed.
that is the kind of saying which passes for wisdom in some quarters, and it certainly seemed to pay off for financial markets this week. after a grim 2018 in the us—china relations, expectations of trade talks in beijing were so low that even a few small crumbs were enough to comfort stock markets and the us dollar. american trade negotiators were not the only visitors to beijing either. north korean leader kimjong—un was also in town, talking to chinese president xijinping about the prospects for a second denuclearisation summit with president trump. trade and security — two huge dimensions of the us—china relationship with kim jong—un the wild card. so, at the start of 2019, how does it all fit together? i think this is a question first for isabel as the long—time china watcher in our midst. let's talk the trade relationship.
we saw the talks go into a third day, we saw the chinese making warmish noises is about conssessions, we saw president trump talk about progress and markets lift. do you share the optimism? well, i think we've certainly pulled back from the brink. hanging over this is the threat that across—the—board tariffs would be imposed by trump if these talks do not reach some sort of conclusion. 0n the upside, i think both leaders want a positive result, so xijinping's economy was already in tricky times. we're after the big industrial boom, we're in the middle income kind of queasy waters. how are we going to get to the next phase of growth? that is a long—running problem. the long—running background to this particular crisis and then comes the crisis and that really doesn't help. 0n the other hand, on the us side, there are bits of trump's heartland that are hurting, so the farmers
and the markets which he seems to set great store by, was deeply troubled. so, the fact that at least sensible people are talking and there is something to talk about is positive, and the fact that the big trade guru on the chinese side will indeed visit the united states. 0r suggest positive momentum and avoid the next phase of all—out war and that is very good. in the longer term, i think the structural problem remains, which is how do you have a free—market relationship between a conventional western capitalist economy, and china, which is not a conventional capitalist economy, in which all the resources of the state are brought to bear on their economic relations, on their industrial policy and so on. that creates a profoundly unequal playing field. so, the chinese will grant a little bit more market access, they will make further noises about the late economic reforms.
but they can only go so far without beginning to unpack a system which is only been consolidated over the last five years. that is a party system of international economic relations, of overseas investment, all of which comes together in a package, which is the chinese economy. we'll deal with the fundamental asymmetry of systems in a moment on this side of the table, but, john, first, i wanted to talk about trump and on the point that isabel is making because the farmers is one problem, he has divisions within his own administration in dealing with china. and he's got a gridlock and paralysis politically in washington at the moment. so, how strong is he in coming to this fight with china? my perspective on this is formed by the fact that i've recently been to china for the first
time in 35 years. last time i was in a paddy wagon taken from prison when i'd been obviously wrongfully imprisoned for allegedly spying. i read a great deal about china in the ensuing years, i was absolutely unprepared for what i found. the modernisation is completely astonishing. wonderful to see, but along with that, it seems to me that china is no longer the way it was in mao's time, when i was first in china, and we're beginning to see that in the flexiblity china is beginning to show in its trade relations with the united states. when i was in the peking central prison, i remember that the total trade between china and the us was less than $1 billion in 1987. now, the us has a trade deficit with china, which if i'm not mistaken, is somewhere up
to $400 billion. that is a real problem and this on so many other things, i would say, just because you dislike trump and there's much to dislike, does not mean he is wrong about everything. no—one is saying that, but does he have the discipline, the patience and the coherence back home to take on, which as you said is a huge rival power? part of the answer is will trump survive as president of the united states? i think that is an open question. but whoever succeeds him is going to have to tackle whether liberal or democrat or republican will have to deal with china. and other issues such as the mexican border is one of them. china is able to change, recognises that the us cannot
continue with the deindustrialisation, the transfer ofjobs that that massive trade deficit represents and again, i think that china and the united states will work out these difficulties to a considerable extent for the very simple reason that they have to. i just want to get this side of the table. the point about the very asymmetry at the heart of this economic issue. germany's a huge trader with china, hugely dense relationship economically. what is the view from berlin? when push comes to shove, we will side with trump in this case because we are all interested in seeing a renumeration of the chinese attitude towards trade, much as the state system speaks against this, but we have to keep pushing. philosophically we will side with trump, as much as we have other complaints about him, asjohn said. we had big trade with china, but there has been some intellectual
property theft, as it were, as their words, for example, in the building of our trains when germany was the number one and the chinese began to copy it and acquire the technology and the intellectual property. they're now building fast trains all over the world. that is a case of the lack of the playing field that we talked about, so i think in this case, we would keep our fingers crossed that trump gets somewhere in the current talks, which are a bit of the warming period somewhat. we don't know whether we will get a positive, but i think we will side with trump in this dispute. give us the european view on that because of course, because trump has been tough on the trade relationship with europe, only slightly less tough as with china? europeans have a lot to lose in that trade war because they export much more to china than the us does. but, i mean, there's an element
of brexit in that trade war, it's the uncertainty. the uncertainty is not good for anyone. for importers, exporters, manufacturers. at least we can see from europe that both sides have interest to actually resolve or at least just leave the 10% trade tariffs where they are, and not do another 25% hike in march. so, crossing fingers hoping that this truce will go on. yes, as thomas said, yes, of course, it would good to see china ease. but it is extraordinary to watch trump and it is due to, in part, but importantly, to that trade war, so we can't go on.
no. we need to widen security. isabel, in 2017, ijust want to bring in kimjong—un, i mentioned him, he's such an interesting wild card in the us—china relationship. we've seen him make his fourth trip in less than a year to beijing. is he turning into the obedient vassal? is xijinping going to use him as a human shield against trump as he effectively did in 2017? you have 45 seconds. i think he is interesting because, yes, four visits to beijing, but also russia. there is talk of him going to seoul. this is a young man actually playing his cards pretty skilfully and he knows how to balance the interests of a very needy american president, a china which is looking to see what advantage it can get out of the situation, and he can also pull in putin to say "i'm not friendless." that's all we have
time for this week. do join us again next week, same time, same place. for now, thank you for watching. goodbye. hello again. it's been a mild winter so far and one thing we've not seen a great deal of is snow. however, over the last few hours, behind this cold front, we have seen some snow showers push in across shetland, so if you're heading outside over the next few hours, you might see more of these coming and going. there will be some clear spells between, and a cold wind. in scotland, it will be cold enough for patches of frost to develop but otherwise, there is too much wind around,
too much cloud and still a few showers too. so it's not especially cold for england and wales and northern ireland — temperatures for most between 6 and 8 degrees celsius for the early risers. that takes us into the first part of monday morning, and still a lot of cloud around, still some passing showers. probably some sunshine for scotland but a frosty start here before thicker cloud works in from the west and we'll start to see some rain arriving. also we'll see some of that rain getting into shetland. the mildest weather across western and southern parts, temperatures into double figures, but noticeably cooler across eastern parts of the uk, with temperatures 3 in lerwick and 5 in aberdeen. the cold weather, though, doesn't last long. a warm front pushes through during monday night and then for tuesday, we've got this slow—moving, wiggling weather front targeting western scotland, bringing some heavy rain to the highlands. here, we could see around 50—100mm of rain up over the mountains — it is going to be quite a wet spell of weather. elsewhere, a lot of cloud, a few limited bright or sunny spells, but it's milder. temperatures for most of us between 10 and 11 degrees celsius. notice those temperatures coming up in shetland,
so the threat of any snow receding with that milder weather arriving. through tuesday night, our slow—moving weather front is still there, bringing rain in scotland, will eventually push southwards, bringing the wet weather from scotland into northern ireland, across parts of england and wales as well. now, to the south of our weather front, which is the cold front that continues to move in during wednesday. we should see still some reasonable temperatures in the south with highs expected to reach about 10 celsius or so, but noticeably colder further north — cold enough for some hill snow there across northern parts of scotland temperatures into single figures. that colder air continues its journey southwards wednesday night and by thursday, we've got the winds coming down from the arctic. with that comes a lot of dry weather and sunshine, but it will be cold with a sharp frost and there will be showers around as well. those showers are likely to be wintry with some snow showers coming into the north of mainland scotland and we could see an odd little bit of sleet in the showers down
the north sea coast as well. a cold day then. temperatures between 3 and 7 degrees celsius. that's your latest weather. goodbye. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: the us secretary of state mike pompeo arrives in riyad, just as a senior saudi prince critcises the american decision to withdraw troops from syria. the us‘s actions from my perspective is that it is going to further complicate the issue, rather than find any
solutions to it. the mayor of gdansk is in a serious condition after being stabbed on stage during a charity event in poland. no help in sight. we have a special report from yemen, and the remote region that's yet to receive aid, despite the month—long ceasefire. and more heavy snowfall expected in the alps, as parts of europe continue to grapple with the worst winter weather for three decades.